Friday, September 22, 2023

LI town to ‘woke’ NYC: We’ll take statues honoring Washington, Jefferson, Columbus 

A Long Island town says it will gladly welcome the latest potential victims of New York City’s cancel culture: statues of historical figures such as George Washington and Christopher Columbus.

Brookhaven officials said they already even have spots picked out for the statues — and will cover the cost of dismantling and shipping them.

“You know, I didn’t want to comment on whether that was right or wrong because that’s a decision of the city. But I said, ‘If you’re going to do that, hey, we’ll take the statues,’ ” Town Supervisor Edward Romaine told The Post on Tuesday.

Referring to once-hallowed historical figures now considered controversial by alleged “woke” haters, Romaine said, “We look at their accomplishments, what they did for their time and how they contributed to the long arc of history.

“And we would welcome having those statues.”

The town’s offer comes the day after The Post reported that the Democrat-led New York City Council was advancing a proposal to yank from Big Apple property any statues and other artwork featuring figures with controversial pasts. For example, Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Peter Stuyvesant owned slaves, and Columbus has been accused of treating Native Americans cruelly.
Brookhaven, LI, has offered to pay to pack up any unwanted New York City statues of historical figures such as Thomas Jefferson and move them to the town’s parks.
Gregory P. Mango
Brookhaven has 20 to 25 parks, and New York City statues such as those of George Washington could easily be moved there to “get the respect that they’re deserving,” officials in the Long Island town say.
Getty Images

Critics have branded the removal effort as cancel culture run amok.

In a letter to city Mayor Eric Adams on Tuesday, Romaine detailed how important some of the historical figures are to the Brookhaven community, from Washington touring the town after the Revolutionary War to founding father William Floyd calling the place home.

“The Brookhaven Town Board knows the importance of our history in bringing us to the place we are today,” the letter says. “If we look through our eyes today and try to judge them for what they did years ago as some people may do they come away with a different view. I look at their contribution to history overall, I look at what they’ve done.”
It’s unclear how the proposal being weighed by the New York City Council might affect the statue of Christopher Columbus in Manhattan’s famed Columbus Circle.
SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Brookhaven has 20 to 25 parks, and Romaine said displaying the statues there means they “could get the respect that they’re deserving.”

Romaine said the town would also pay to transport the statues to their new home “because we still understand that history is a long arc.”

During Tuesday’s public hearing before the city council’s Cultural Affairs Committee, the author of the bill, Councilwoman Sandy Nurse (D-Brooklyn), insisted she is attempting to correct history, not cancel it.
A statue of George Washington in Union Square Park in Manhattan could be threatened by a “woke” plan.
Angel Chevrestt

She said she wants the city’s Public Design Commission to consider eliminating statues from the public square because of their controversial legacies involving slavery or mistreating indigenous peoples. The PDC also could install plaques next to the statutes explaining the honoree’s misdeeds.

“It’s a reckoning with the historical injustices that continue to haunt our cities,” Nurse said.

Additional reporting by Carl Campanile

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